Jason Dufner is best known on the PGA Tour for his pinpoint iron shots and demure demeanor, but on Friday at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, Dufner flipped the script on fans.
A triple-bogey six on the par-3 6th hole sent to the 2011 PGA Champion tumbling down the 78-man leaderboard following an opening round of even par had him right in the mix. However, Dufner wasn’t going to go quietly into the Korean night; the Auburn product picked off three birdies on his inward nine to once again post an even par round.
Birdies at the 12th and 14th holes got him back to 1-over par for the day and for the tournament, and a 15-footer on the 16th hole gave him a chance to get back to even. Not known as one of the best putters on Tour, Dufner poured in the birdie try and then went crazy… by his standards.
Six — count ’em, six — fist pumps from Dufner. That’s unheard of.
A pair of pars for Duf left him in the same relation to par as he was entering the day, but with the leaders going low, the 41-year-old dropped 11 spots on the board.
Dufner enters the weekend on Jeju Island nine shots back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy who backed up his first-round 70 with a 7-under par 65 on Friday. Brooks Koepka is one shot back in solo second and first-round leader Chez Reavie is three shots back at 6-under par in solo third.